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A New Mountain Lion, P-96, Was Spotted In The Santa Monica Mountains

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National Park biologists have identified a new cougar named P-96. The female mountain lion was captured and collared in February. (Courtesy NPS)
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A young female mountain lion is the latest to join the National Park Service's study of the big cats' survival in and around the Santa Monica Mountains.

The approximately one-year-old puma, dubbed P-96, was captured on Feb. 12 in the Simi Hills and was outfitted with a GPS radio collar to help researchers track her movements.

Ana Beatriz Cholo, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area's spokeswoman, says researchers' now have crucial genetic info on the cat.

"They do blood, hair and tissue samples for both genetic and disease analysis, and then hopefully with the DNA material we've collected we'll find out if she has relations with any other mountain lions in the region."

She's the 96th cat overall inducted into the 18-year study, and joins 10 other cats currently being tracked.
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Seven of them are in the Santa Monica Mountains, three in the Simi Hills and one — the beloved P-22 — in Griffith Park.

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